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Archive for January, 2012

What’s up with Backzup?

January 9, 2012 6 comments

On 14th December 2011 I signed up for a free 512Gb online backup account at Backzup. I was initially doubtful that the service could provide that amount of free backup, but it worked well. Backzup is (was?) a Livedrive re-seller, so the software you download is from Livedrive, and you use the Livedrive web site to manage or access your backup.

My reason for trying Backzup was a problem with my Carbonite account. I have used Carbonite for my online backup needs for over two years, and while the service has previously worked well I have now hit the point where Carbonite are throttling my backup so much it’s impossible to use. When I recently upgraded my server hackintosh I moved all the files from the old server to the new one using the Mac Migration Assistant. When I re-installed the Carbonite software on the new server and transfered the backup account the old backup set was retained, and a new one started. The backup set contains 189Gb, so the old 189Gb remained on the Carbonite servers and a new 189Gb backup was started. Carbonite slow down your backup once it gets too big, so mine is wallowing at around 300Gb with over 70Gb remaining. The upload speed is now limited to around 100kbit/second, so I am now waiting for 30 days since the old backup was last seen. At that time the old backup should be deleted, and I can finish the new backup in a reasonable time.

Backzup sounded like an ideal solution, offering 512Gb for free with no upload speed limits. I completed the initial backup of 204Gb in five days, which included suspending the backup a few times to do other things. The service then worked without issue until the 1st January 2012, when the Livedrive software reported it could not log into the account. My attempts to access the Livedrive web site returned a message that the account was suspended, but there is no way to contact Livedrive as I need to log into the account to access their support system. This happened at the point when I was considering upgrading to one of Backzup’s paid accounts, not for the extra space but to pay something for a good service. Read more…

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Lion SMB problems and using a WDTV media streamer

January 2, 2012 1 comment

Shortly after setting up a new Lion server I found my WDTV Live media streamer was no longer able to connect to its SMB shares. A search showed major incompatibilities for Windows and Linux Samba clients trying to connect to Lion. There are hundreds of posts and articles online detailing the trouble Lion users are having after Apple dropped Samba and implemented its own SMB server. The problem exists in all versions from 10.7 to 10.7.2, so I’m hoping the next 10.7.3 will do something to resolve the issues.

Until that happens there are a couple of options to get access to a Lion server from a WDTV box. The first is to use MacPorts to install Samba V3 and configure manually, the other is to use NFS. If you want to take the Samba route there are a few good guides at protagonist.co.uk, forums.sonos.com and forum.xbmc.org. I chose to use NFS, and followed the guide at wiki.wdlxtv.com.It took some trial and error to get it all working, so I have provided my configuration here if it’s any help. NFS is not as simple to setup as AFP or SMB networking as I haven’t seen a way to browse shares, instead they are configured on the client and server. I’m using the WDLXTV custom firmware for the Live from wiki.wdlxtv.com which I highly recommend, I’m not sure if a WDTV running standard firmware will work the same way. Read more…

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